Are The Homeless Ruining Midtown?

It's a different kind of panhandler in Midtown
It's a different kind of panhandler in Midtown

Midtown, that instant nightclub spot that emerged a few years ago near downtown, has enough to worry about right now, with Washington Avenue grabbing all the hip, trendy vibe.

Now there may be something else to cause concern: Are the homeless getting a) bigger in numbers and b) more aggressive with Midtown patrons?

There's been anecdotal evidence -- people filling up at gas stations in the area regularly get hit up for that bit of coin that will enable the asker to make bus fare to Louisiana, or get gas for his car that just ran out, or get something allegedly to eat.

A worker in the area tells Hair Balls, though, that things are definitely getting worse.

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He manages a nightspot in Midtown; we won't name him or the spot.

But he wants something done.

I am a manager at a night spot in Housto's Midtown area, an area which over the last year and a half has seen a stiff decline in business. I have been in my industry for a long time, and I am the first to say sometimes new places come along and become the cool place to be. This is a key factor in Midtowns fall from evening party place grace.

However...another serious issue...has greatly hurt the Midtown area: Homeless people. I cannot go out on a night without being constantly pestered by homeless beggars. If I sit on a patio bar it just a matter of time before a person of lesser fortune comes and interrupts my evening with a speech about a bus ticket or a burger.

I constantly see women harassed for money while cornered at the local gas station; I can see the fear in their faces as an army of homeless descend upon their cars in pursuit of their change. Every night my customers are hit up once they park their cars, or on their out for a night on the town.

He says he's tried to complain to city council and the Midtown development group, to no avail.

(We've called the Midtown group; haven't heard back.)

"I should state, I do feel bad for people out on the streets, however as the business had declined in our area, a chief complaint being constant harassment by the homeless, I fear it will be me next looking for a job, losing my house for lack of income," he says.

Anyone else out there with the same complaint? What do you think should be done about it?

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